WEST CHICAGO – For those in attendance at Wheaton Academy’s Thursday night homecoming game against Ridgewood, they were given a quick reminder of summer’s official end with a 54-degree temperature at opening kickoff.
They were also given a reminder of a Warriors offense that entered into the Metro Suburban Blue contest with a 51-point average through their first four games, all wins.
But it also turned out that the home team can play both defense and special teams as well in a complete domination of the visiting Rebels. The Warriors posted win No. 5 in a 47-0 shutout at Performance Trust Field that sets up their MSC Blue showdown at IC Catholic Prep next Friday night in Elmhurst.
The Knights were one of two teams to beat the Wheaton Academy last season.
“It was so great seeing our defense did well in this game,” Wheaton Academy two-way starting lineman Jaret Jawor said. “There are still things to learn from. (Our) offense performed great. Belay (Warrior quarterback Brummel), all the guys. We have a few things to fix, but they (Ridgewood) were a great opponent and a great learning experience for us.”
Things got going for the home team (5-0, 3-0) on Ridgewood’s third play from scrimmage when senior DB Breck Peacock picked off a Jaden Rodriguez pass and took it 35 yards to paydirt for a 7-0 lead just 95 seconds into the contest.
Then things went from bad to worse for Ridgewood (2-3, 0-3) when Warriors junior Brett Kasper snared another Rodriguez pass at the home team’s 44.
Three plays later senior QB Brummel found Zach Moravec for a 49-yard TD strike and a 14-0 Wheaton advantage.
On its next possession, Kasper’s 1-yard run gave the host school a 21-0 lead with 4:07 remaining in the first. It was set up by a 57-yard Stephen Fellowes jaunt on the previous play.
Then, the Warriors special teams made their presence felt as Jawor, a transfer from Lincoln-Way Central, blocked a David Dusza punt that Mitch Carik recovered placing them at the Ridgewood 20.
Brummel (9-16 for 140 yards) found Evan Eckert two plays later on a 21-yard scoring play that made a 28-0 lead in the final minute of the opening stanza.
The second frame featured another standout play by Wheaton Academy special teams when they tackled Dusza in the end zone for a safety.
A 12-yard Brummel keeper and a 30-yard Declan Finnegan field goal made it 40-0 at halftime setting the stage for a second-half running clock. Fellowes (11 carries, 107 yards) closed out the scoring with a 7-yard run on Wheaton Academy’s opening offensive series of the third.
Warriors coach Jim Johanik knows that with next week’s game comes greater challenges.
“You know that’s going to be our challenge going forward,” Johanik said. “The game plan has to be expansive. We have to get the ball all over the field for us to contend with these bigger teams and we have those weapons. It’s just that we have to play four quarters.”